BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal

Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Title of project
Integrated Program Decision Model

BPA project number   5504500

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
ICF Kaiser International, Inc.

Sponsor type   WA-Consultant

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameScott Seiler
 Mailing address601 Williams Blvd., 4th Floor, Richland, Washington 99352

BPA technical contact   , EWI

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   

Short description
Ecosystem-spanning model, capable of analyzing and displaying trade-offs and impacts of varying program options.

Project start year   1997    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1997

Project development phase   Planning, Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
A number of related modeling projects for several Columbia tributaries and the main stem have been completed by others. Dozens of research projects have been completed which will be sources of data on program options and their effects on the fish population.

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications

Specific measureable objectives
Improved understanding of trade-offs among very diverse program options, leading to most cost-effective use of funds. Secondary objective is to clarify uncertainties and to prioritize actions to minimize those uncertainties.

Testable hypothesis
The underlying hypothesis is that the ecosystem is a whole, from upstream habitat to ocean and that the trade-offs of varying actions should be considered when making Fish and Wildlife Program decisions. This hypothesis can be tested in the model by examining interactions across the diverse elements of the ecosystem effected by the many on-going program activities.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
We assume, based on some familiarity with the literature in the area and history of the program, that considerable information is available on many components of the Columbia Basin ecosystem.

1) Background and Purpose of Proposed Project. The Northwest Power Planning Council and interested parties could benefit from a better way to evaluate trade-offs among the alternatives for enhancing the salmon population. Over $400 million per year will be spent on a variety of measures to increase the salmon populations in the Columbia River Basin. These measures include actions which effect different aspects of the life cycle of the salmon, from the up-stream areas, through the river and reservoir system to the open ocean. These measures can impact each other to some degree such as more smolts released versus physical modifications to dams, and may interact, such as catch rates changing as populations change. The entire river and ocean is a single ecosystem. Much information has been gathered about components of this ecosystem and how they are effected by, for example, changes in water flows.

The purpose of the proposed project is to create a data base and model which makes it easier for the interested parties to compare the costs and effects of various actions and expenditures to enhance the salmon population. The purpose of the project is to integrate the available information in a systematic way, i.e., incorporating analysis on the possible effects of climate change on precipitation and other aspects of the river ecosystem.

2) Project Approach. ICF Kaiser proposes to integrate the available data on the Columbia Basin salmon into a model of the salmon population, from the up-stream habitat to the ocean. The model would represent each component of the ecosystem and salmon life cycle by a simplified population-policy action relationship. For example, actions at each dam would be represented by a percentage survival of salmon passing up and down stream. The actions would include all proposed salmon-enhancement measures and the fishing activity at each location. The overall population and life cycle links will be represented in the model by coefficients of survival and yield which are chained together. The model would also incorporate the possible relationships between climate change and changes in the Columbia system, such as changes in precipitation, which are now thought likely. For each policy action a cost or cost-curve would be included.

This model would make it possible to test trade-offs among budget allocations and to estimate the returns to specific proposed projects. The model would calculate the costs, salmon population, and catches for a set of defined locations. The output would include a map of the system, with the above indicators. The model would allow the user to easily vary to mix of expenditures and see the results.

This model should be constructed in phases, by building a skeleton of the complete system, with some detail on each segment, and elaborating the detail later. Decisions about elaborating the detail can be guided by the model findings, such as which variables have the most leverage on the population and yield, and which variables are most uncertain. A more complete specification of what goes into the first-phase model will be a first task of the project, and will derive from a review of the current understanding of the critical population determinants and the availability of data.

The project should be guided by an expert committee, covering the major elements of the Columbia River salmon ecosystem and the remediation measures.

Brief schedule of activities
Planning of the project, including a preliminary assessment of available data, would take place during October-November of 1997. Data collection and model development would be done during December 1996-March 1997, with a preliminary report and working skeleton model to be delivered by April, 1997.

Biological need
Integration and improvement in Fish and Wildlife Program performance.

Critical uncertainties
The greatest uncertainty in the value of this project is the extent to which estimates exist which would be accepted by most of the concerned scientific community on the connections between the main elements of the ecosystem. Many of these issues are strongly debated. The proposed approach deals at least partly with this problem by making it easy and transparent to test alternative estimates of the population responses.

Summary of expected outcome
The expected outcome of the project is an improved method for assessing the tradeoffs among very diverse actions which are being taken or could be taken to enhance the salmonid populations. Better, or at least more clearly understood decisions and resource allocations will result.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
The degree of success of the project will depend on the cooperation of many members of the scientific community who posses the understanding and data on the population interrelationships and program costs. Published sources will supply a great deal of the information, but personal cooperation will greatly enhance the success of the project. The project plan includes the creation of a technical advisory group comprised of reps from interested agencies, which will be helpful in achieving consensus and cooperation .


Monitoring activity
Period review meetings will be held on the model development. Project cost will then be compared to money saved, populations improved, and decisions supported.

Section 3. Budget

Data shown are the total of expense and capital obligations by fiscal year. Obligations for any given year may not equal actual expenditures or accruals within the year, due to carryover, pre-funding, capitalization and difference between operating year and BPA fiscal year.

Historic costsFY 1996 budget data*Current and future funding needs
(none) New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 350,000

* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.

Funding recommendations

CBFWA funding review group   System Policy

Recommendation    Tier 3 - do not fund